INTERNATIONAL: Malta put on Trafficking Watchlist

Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Western Europe
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Sexual and Gender-Based Violence

Malta, Cyprus and Estonia have been put on a watch list by the US for allegedly failing to stop high levels of human trafficking.

According to reports from EUobserver, a report from the US state department said that although the numbers of trafficking victims were very high in all three countries, the governments were failing to show what they were doing to put an end to the problem.

The report claimed that African migrants in Malta were vulnerable to human trafficking in Malta's informal labour market, and that there was the possibility that Malta was being used as a stepping stone for African women who ended up being sold into prostitution in Europe.

As an example, the report mentioned it cited the case of a Somali woman who complained to police she was being forced into prostitution in July 2010. The woman got a six-month suspended sentence for possession of false travel permits.

Six other EU states - Hungary, Latvia, Romania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic and Greece - were also named for not meeting US standards. Poor marks were also given to most countries hoping to join the EU in the near future, as well as countries seeking EU visa-free travel, such as Moldova, Russia and the Ukraine.